Are you a person with multiple passions and you can’t seem stay focused on any one thing for very long?
Tia Sparkles believes that some people are just meant to be multi-passionate. Unfortunately, these same people might feel society has labeled them as not focused or lazy whereas the truth is, they are simply gifted with the ability to have many different focal points at different times, multiple talents, and extreme passion.
Check out my interview with this inspiring woman who gives the word 'sparkle' a true meaning.
1. Tia, how did you come up with the term “sparkle” and what does it represent?
I love sparkly shiny things :). Also, being a multi-passionate means I’m often distracted by a dozen different things that interest me at the same time, kinda like “oh shiny, look!”. When I started my first blog a few years ago, I randomly added Sparkles to my name because it made me smile. I had no idea that a term such as multi-passionate / scanner even existed. And then when I read Barbara Sher’s books, I decided I liked Sparkler better than her term aka Scanner.
2. Being a sparkler, and multi-passionate individual, how did you decide that coaching was a good path for you?
I’ve always been hugely into self development, devouring books like the Road Less Travelled and Conversations with God as a teenager. I had a friend who would drive to my house at 2am and throw pebbles, I’d go down and listen, hug, hold her as she cried her heart out about something that was hurting her. I’d counsel friends over MSN chat (haha, oh those were the days!) about their relationships and show them different perspectives, give advice etc. It all came naturally to me. Then I came to Canada in 2008 and found a blog written by a coach - I had no idea what a coach was, but I loved her style of writing, her relatability, her huge personal awareness and willingness to be wrong. She inspired me to ‘look in the mirror’ and focus on what I want, not on what I don’t. There was just something about her. And I wanted that. I wanted to have that impact on people, her self assurance, her ability to admit her failings and still love herself, her love for life, her passion and commitment to making a positive difference in the world.
When I decided that, I knew I had to do coach training even if I never coached in my life, just to have that deep sense of belief and awareness in myself. When the student is ready... I found myself at a CTI coach training course within a week 🙂
3. What generally draws people to seek out your services?
People used to come to me for help with deciding what career to pursue, and relationship issues. Now, it’s more about coming alive again, finding their Inner Sparkle, being happier, finding their purpose and passion in life. Most of my clients say they were drawn to my energy and how I show up as real, relatable, and fun.
4. How do people find out about your website and your services? Is it usually word of mouth or through search engines? Do you advertise anywhere?
Mostly through social media. I have never advertised anywhere although many small businesses have advertised on my site. Over the past 2 years, I’ve had some insane traffic through search engines (approx 4 million visitors in 2012) thanks to an inspirational quotes blog post I wrote that went viral. Now it’s through a combo of search engines, social media, and other bloggers linking to my site.
5. On your website you offer an e-course title Inner Sparkle. Can you tell us a little more about this course? What could people expect to find there?
Ahhhhh!! This question made me smile as I just mentioned it above, hehe. Inner Sparkle is that brave, resilient, shimmery part of your spirit that says YES to courage and connection, NO to shoulds and restrictions (quoting from my website here!). It’s the glow from within that no outside force can take away from you forever.
This quote describes it well: “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” - Elisabeth Ross.
I created the Inner Sparkle 21 day e-course as a way to bring back the sparkle in peoples’ lives. To inspire them, help them reconnect with their creativity and joy, recharge their batteries, and find peace and confidence from within. It’s 21 emails automagicall sent daily over 21 days, each one featuring play-cercises / actionable challenges that bring up fresh perspectives, encourage and inspire you to make small changes, introspect, play, and bring the fun back in life.
People do it different ways - some like to journal, others just read the day’s email and let it swirl about in their head. Months after the course, insights and AHAs can keep coming!
6. What made you decide to offer an e-course?
I’m really introspective and love to learn and grow! I find e-course awesome for that as I can go at my own pace and do it my way. So I figured there have got to be others like me who would love the format too, and .. there were :)!
7. You also offer the Sparkle Flight Club. How does this club work?
This is actually on hold right now!
8. On a personal note, you mention on your website that you had some experience with depression and even suicidal as a teenager. You stated how this made you have to FIGHT to stay uplifted, confident, and inspired and how this FIGHT keeps you fiery and at the same time humble. As a life coach, this seems like a very valuable experience to help you relate to other people. How do you think this FIGHT translates into the services you can provide to others?
Oh Tal... this is a part of my story that I have just started sharing in more depth than the few words on my site. People see my online persona and think I’m a bundle of energy, happy and blissed out all the time. When we meet in person, they often say I’m just how I show up online, and to a large extent, I AM that person. Naturally optimistic, with a weird mix of skepticism and naivete. I’ve had some big ups and downs and I know how precious life is, so I always say a little prayer of thanks for LIFE every night.
My mission is to inspire people to rise above their circumstances, have more fun, and be happy. Live a meaningful life, THEIR way. And what better way to do that than by example? Knowing that I have gone from wanting to die, have had thoughts of killing myself and tried once, to waking up every day being grateful for another day, I’m speaking from what I know, what I have experienced.
It’s all about awareness. Being a coach doesn’t mean I get a golden ticket to confidence and happiness. I can do a real number on myself, believe me! I do have days where I’ve been curled up on the floor feeling like I can’t go on. Even as recent as back in Feb this year.
What makes the difference isn’t in never feeling like that, but how fast I bounce back up and embrace life’s experiences and my journey. No matter what has happened, I have risen above it all and continue to do so, learning valuable lessons in the process and growing to love myself just a little more each time.
There’s no bullshit, just reality. You could say that’s my stake, my urge. I am compelled to show people a mirror and get them to look deep within themselves, to see how amazing and resourceful and strong and powerful they really are. My work is my vocation, my calling.
“We’re all just walking each other home” - Ram Dass.
9. On your website, you also speak often of the concept of freedom – specifically the freedom to do what you want with your own life. Have you found this is a desire your clients have as well? Do you help people to find their own freedom?
Everyone wants freedom! We may just define it differently. What’s freedom to me could be scary for others - going with the flow, not having any concrete plans about where to live, etc. Most of all though, I lean towards the freedom that lies within us, that nothing on the outside can take away. You know, how Viktor Frankl was the freest man in a concentration camp because no one and nothing could break his spirit, take away his hope, or change him from the inside.
That’s the freedom I wish to have, and to help people tap into as well. Beyond the location independent lifestyle, choosing or creating your own career etc. True freedom is freedom of the mind, spirit, soul.
10. You have a lot of guest posts on your blog. How did you decide to include guest writers, how do you choose them, and how has that added to your blog and website over all?
Simple - to be of greater service. To provide inspiration and insights from a variety of voices doing good in the world, as I alone can’t do all that I want to do. I see Your Life YOUR Way as a resource site for inspiration, self development, growth - and play!
I publish posts that educate, entertain, empower with good useful content and a conversational style, about 80% of the submissions I get. It’s been good and not so good. Good because so many amazing writers have shared way more experience and thoughts than I alone could. Not so good because it dilutes the YLYW style of writing and I’ve had readers email me to say they want me to write more.
Pondering the best way to do this..
11. You offer personal coaching, and e-course, a group/club experience, a blog of inspirational articles, and a Facebook page. Do you foresee adding anything else to your business in the near future such as speaking engagements perhaps?
Actually, I stopped one on one coaching a couple of years ago. I’m focusing on building YLYW to be a kickass resource site and get Sparkle Flight Club back in the air. In the future, I’d love to collaborate on online / offline ventures like retreats, workshops etc. Speaking.. I know it’s going to happen, and what about that dream of writing a book one day?
When the time is right, or when I say it is ;)!
12. You consider yourself a multi-passionate individual who sparkles. It is obvious how you could relate to other multi-passionate people, but what about people who feel they are more singularly focused. As a coach, do you feel you have something to offer these singularly focused individuals as well?
I admire people like that. I can get VERY single minded and focused as a multi-passionate too, by the way, that’s a characteristic we share. The difference is that once Sparklers get the reward (be it learning, teaching, expertise in the area of interest), we move on to something else. Our focus is intense, and usually short term. My dad on the other hand, is a Diver (or what I call a Laser) - one interest and one only, flying.
Back to your question though. Since I’m not coaching at the moment, this point is moot. In my courses, there are usually a mix of Sparklers and Lasers, skewed a bit towards the former.
13. At the end of the day, what is it that you do that recharges you? What keeps you motivated and happy?
Sleep. I love afternoon naps! Watching a movie. Going for a walk in nature. Dancing! Omword, have I told you about that? One of the things I love about me is how silly and crazy I can get. Nothing makes me happier than blasting music in the kitchen or living room and having a dance party for one :). Dancing is expression, it is life to me. Free stylin’, baby.
14. If there was one thing that you would tell someone who felt that he or she were multi-passionate, what would that one piece of advice be?
Stop looking for the ONE purpose or passion you think you’re missing in your life. Embrace who you are, follow your various desires and interests, explore, play, have fun, Sparklepants! And read Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher. You’re welcome.